Mount & Blade II Gameplay Vid Shows Siege Defence

The last we got to see of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord [official site] was a castle siege, and what a grand siege it was! Now developers TaleWorlds are showing off their medieval sandbox action-RPG’s sieges from the other perspective, with a new six-minute gameplay trailer showing defenders fighting back as siege towers roll in and cannonballs rain. It looks pretty swish and a big improvement over earlier games, though mostly I’m into it for hurling rocks down at people’s heads. Observe:

Sadly, while Gamescom has brought a new trailer, it hasn’t brought any clearer indication of when we can expect Bannerlord to launch. The only other new information I have to share is, er, an announcement saying “TaleWorlds Entertainment wish to draw players’ attention to the advancements made in the strategic portion of Bannerlord”. They continue:

“TaleWorlds have implemented new interfaces to conduct diplomatic affairs, both personal and of the state. Conduct a parley from the ramparts of your castle and break a siege with words instead of weapons, or make use of your standing to turn the king against your fiercest rivals.

“Behind epic siege battles and thrilling combat lies the game’s core as a simulated feudal world of politics, romance and intrigue. Bannerlord puts you at the negotiating table and presents you with the freedom to strike game-changing deals with both friend and foe.

“Use the Influence you accumulate within your faction to arrange peace, when a war no longer suits your interests and swing the deal by offering up your land, goods or gold. Bannerlord is set to advance the series meaningfully, in every aspect, offering players variety in the way they can approach the game and achieve their goals.”

Which is all a bit vague, isn’t it? But you can now consider your attention drawn and hey, those six minutes of castlewars aren’t bad, are they?

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  1. Jokerme says:

    That felt unexpectedly intense. This game is gradually getting better and better.

    • Eight Rooks says:

      I find it fascinating how it looks pretty much like Mount & Blade on steroids, warts and all. Even with the obvious improvements to scope and scale and detail you’ve still got janky animations, clumsy UI, clipping, weird AI behaviour etc., etc. and yet there’s that same… atmosphere, even from watching a few minutes of gameplay, that’s not quite like any other game I’ve played. I mean that as a sizable compliment, honest. I agree, it was intense. Even that brief bit of footage still feels instantly gripping – gritty and raw and hands-on in a way I’m not sure any Total War game could ever be.

      • Faldrath says:

        Yeah, I agree. And yeah… I don’t think I had ever seen the sheer carnage of medieval warfare depicted like that before. I admit it gave me something close to goosebumps, and a lot of “I can’t believe people actually did that” moments.

        • Eight Rooks says:

          Yup. It reminded me of Kingdom of Heaven, actually – there’s a scene I think is in both cuts when they’re defending the breach in the wall and the camera pulls up and away above this sea of struggling men and there’s this ghastly Boschian quality to it that I found… mindblowing, pretty much. M&B’s tech is not up to that level but it’s frighteningly close, for all its obvious quirks. You watch the fight at the gate and the silly animations and repeated pain-barks and whatever might raise a smile but… it’s still pretty horrible, in a good way (for want of a better word).

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      teije says:

      Gonna be fun for sure. A game that’s quirky in all the right places.

  2. Sp4rkR4t says:

    At this point it does feel like we have been waiting an awfully long time for M&B2, I hope we get some more concrete info soon but at the same time I don’t want them to feel beholden to chasing a release date.

    I guess what I’m saying is I’d quite like them to release it soon without ever giving a release date.

    • Ethaor says:

      They’re still shooting for a public alpha by the end of the year

  3. BillyBumbler says:

    Hopefully there’ll be some type of coop campaign. The hundreds of hours I’ve spent playing singleplayer in Warband, and even more invested into the CRPG multiplayer mod.

  4. Don Marcos says:

    Starts the video…see the unmoving hair…–I want Nvidia hair moving technology–resume video.

  5. fearandloathing says:

    Sorry for hypers but this game will be a let down, and you’ll see this if you stop hyping for a second. Damn man, you made millions but still cannot hire someone to do decent animations? I care very little about texture fidelity and stuff, yet these clunkiness totally kills immersion and takes a lot from combat. As for feudal lordship simulator part, meh we all know that’ll be up to modders anyway. Very proud with Talewords’ success so far (they are my topraam), yet frustrated with the game so far.
    Compare them with CDPR, of course Taleworlds was a bit worse off than them, but still, both made a headway with their first game, and quite possible W1 and MB had similar profit margins. W2 was quite decent, big hit on consoles&mainstream, Warband otoh was lacking but still another commercial hit. CDPR took brave decisions, totally made history with W3, while Taleworlds is doing… well very much a retexture, with some well-known mods incorporated into the base game? Not cool.

    • Budikah says:

      I might be wrong, but I don’t think it’s possible to compare Taleworlds and CDPR. From what I gather, Mount and Blade was originally an incredibly small team – husband and wife, but I might be mistaken.

      I’m happy with the progress they’ve made. MnB has always been a bit janky around the edges – it’s like a really solid chair made out of some ugly pieced together wood.

      I’m willing to bet it’s mostly the engine they are using, which might be their own, and probably has some issues. Now personally I was hoping to see this game really get the treatment, with new animations, better graphics, etc – but so far Bannerlord looks like it really improves upon some areas that were lacking.

      Now, I’m a bit upset to see the same crappy world map system that looks mostly unchanged, as well as the in-town system which was always awkward as hell.

      … but at the end of the day, I’m honestly willing to give them a bit of a pass. Years ago I paid them like $30 for MnB and to this date it’s been the most cost effective entertainment in my life. Original campaign, Brytenwalda, and Prophecy of Pendor all consumed numerous hours of my life.

      I enjoy what they created, and while the hype is *always* too much, I don’t think the diehard fans of the series are going to be too surprised by what we get. Hell, just watching this video I imagined myself getting stuck on their crappy building geometry and laughed to myself a bit.

      I am curious as to the comparison of company sizes – because even to this day, I still imagine Taleworlds as a bit of an odd developer and a smaller team.

  6. Replikant says:

    Huh, I am not sure if the Witcher comparison is valid. It an immensely good looking game (I am told) but it does not have 250 vs 250 man battles, does it?

    • Replikant says:

      Obviously meant as a reply to fearandloathing, damnit.

    • Budikah says:

      I haven’t played the Witcher, so my comment may very well be null – but as far as I know that game doesn’t really have battles on the level of Mount and Blade. It’s an RPG, so most of the battles you are in are probably “scenes” and scripted events whereas MnB battles are big, unwieldy events with multiple forces, reinforcements, and way too many bodies. I know depending on your computer, you can put a ton of men on the field in MnB.

  7. fearandloathing says:

    Yey I gaveth birth to a debate. I agree on many aspects, my post was (in general, all are) deliberately harsh towards Taleworlds. Gotta say this though, comparison with Witcher was not a technical thing so comments on battle sizes etc. are irrelevant, it was more like “look what CDPR have done with their thing, and what Taleworlds have been up to”. CDPR started bigger, sure, yet -I don’t have any statistics on this- but I believe CDPR has gotten bigger still, which was, by simple math, actually easier for Taleworlds. And Taleworlds haven’t been less lucky, they had cultist fans from day one, benefited hugely from steam sales and became game journalists’ sweethearts in time. Trouble with them is lack of ambition. They could’ve gone bigger&bolder, I cannot see them having severe budget issues, even nobodies with failed kickstarter projects are able to find funding these days. I haven’t been surprised by anything they added to the series, certainly not by what we’ve learned about mb2 so far. Of course I’m not saying they should’ve gone crazy and added riding dragons and stuff, just, idk, I’m not seeing any real difference. To clarify, it seems to me (same applies to warband also) they are making MB in 2017, naturally it has better graphics, UI, engine, co-op, some mechanics more detailed etc., but these are essentially updates, what else is there? By today’s standards, those things are already musts, decent combat animations is another must and I fear we won’t see it in mb2. There is a medieval RPGish game in the works (Kingdom Deliverance, was that the name?), and MB2 could’ve&should’ve include all of its features.

    • fearandloathing says:

      I find this post offensive to dear principles of logical textual structuring and grammar competency. save yourself, do not read it.

  8. Stardog says:

    Sad that it just looks like a modded M&B1.

    Doesn’t look good at all.